In the absence of any change in attitude towards women, the celebration of International Women's Day is just a formality. This is despite the fact that women constitute around 50 per cent of the world population. Many political parties cry for reservation on man-made aspects like religion and cast evidently for vote-bank politics, but oppose reservation to women in the male-dominated political system.
The Islamic world, including Pakistan and many other democratic countries including fresh democracy in Nepal have adopted women reservation in legislature. In the meanwhile, till the bill becomes a law, Election Commission’s formula to make it compulsory for every political party to give at least 33 per cent party tickets to women may be immediately enforced as an interim measure.
However, it should be ensured that such distribution may be state-wise rather than on country-basis. Otherwise, parties will fulfill formality of women quota by giving all tickets from reserved quota to women in states with no base of the concerned party. However, to prevent wives or other relations/associates being misused as ‘proxy’ of male politicians, there should be a system whereby name of husband or any other relation may not be permitted in election-campaigns of women candidates.
At a time when women-quota in panchayats and local bodies is being increased to 50-percent from earlier 33 per cent, it is meaningless to resist 33 per cent reservation to women in legislature. Rather, there should be uniform 33 per cent reservation for women at all stages from civic bodies to Parliament.